Civic workers honoured at rare, glittering event

Civic workers honoured at rare, glittering event

Pourakarmikas (municipal workers), who sweep the streets to keep the city clean, were honoured at a rare and glittering event attended by politicians and celebrities at a five-star hotel on Monday.

Neatly dressed Ponamma K, a 65-year-old pourakarmika from Hoysala Nagar, and her 20 colleagues from different wards were elated as the elite audience cheered with a round of applause in recognition of their service.

“The passing crowd does not even talk to us as we sweep and clean the streets the whole day. Some don’t even come close to us. But this event stands in contrast. We really feel proud that out work has been recognised. So many photographers are clicking our pictures. We will be seen on many television channels,” Obalesha, who has 30 years of service, said rather innocently.

On the occasion, 21 pourakarmikas from the BBMP, sanitation workers from the BWSSB and gardeners of Cubbon Park and Lalbagh were awarded a cash price of Rs 5,000, a coat with a seal of the Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC), a citation and a plaque each. The organisers said the winners were selected on the basis of their experience, working skills and honesty. Nominations were sent by NGOs, corporators and engineers, said Revathy Ashok of BPAC.

More importantly, the event stood out with the participation of Kannada film actors, minister T B Jayachandra and former Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde. Explaining the idea behind the event, organiser Anil Shetty said it aimed to build an inclusive society where everyone felt important and responsible. “We have seen educated people throwing garbage from running car,” he said.

Fashion guru Prasad Bidapa organised a fashion show on the theme of Garden City to appreciate the contribution of sanitation workers. A video song ‘May Day’, a tribute to unsung heroes of society, was released on YouTube.

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